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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  March 14, 2011 8:30pm-11:00pm EDT

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the money here when i can do it for 25% less somewhere else. i think all that matters and even though i concur that maybe the studies show didn't quite going to reinvestment but let's face it, somebody is paying capital gains tax on that them by the way that is money in the marketplace which is better than having a offshore somewhere and used offshore. i would rather have it here and give the dividend to shareholders or invest in the company then never have it use in america. >> host: congressman greg walden is chairman of the commerce subcommittee on communications and technology. mike zapler with the politico, thank you both. >> guest: thank you. >> guest: thank you.
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right now you can listen to c-span signature programming with itunes or it your mp3 player. there is a story today from c-span radio's washington today, the latest books and authors on after words. people in the news on newsmakers and interesting conversation on q&a. listen to a variety of public affairs podcast whenever you want. everything you need to know is on line at now a discussion on the current
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state of lobbying rules and regulations. this is hosted by the sunlight foundation. in it is about an hour and 30 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon everyone. welcome to the washington -- discussion of the challenges facing reforms in the actions needed to enact real-time lobbying disclosure in washington. this is an event put together by the advisory committee on transparency which is a project of the sunlight foundation. the advisory committee is composed of 18 individuals and organizations and you can find out more about the group on our web site which is transparency just a brief introduction to the advisory committee. our role is to share ideas with members of the congressional transparency caucus and members
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of congress generally and also to educate policymakers on trance the -- transparency related issues problems and solutions. i would also like to thank the co-chairs of the congressional transparency caucus representative darrell issa and mike quigley for giving us the space and for working so timely to host all of these committee events this year. this event will have a kind of interesting format. we will be broken up into three parts. the first part will be introductions by each of our distinguished panelists. the second part will be just a couple of follow-up russians by me and then finally we will go into q&a from the audience and our graduate fellow pass the microphone she will bring around to all of you guys so c-span which is recording this event will be able to hear your insight improving questions as well as the folks here up on the panel. so i'm going to start by introducing the panelists and then we'll go to opening statements. we are going to start on my
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right with dan eggen. dan has covered lobbying campaign finance and politics for the "washington post" since 2009. he was the white house reporter in 2008 and was the post lead justice department reporter for the first seven years the bush administration. he is part of a team that won the pulitzer prize for coverage of the domestic response of the 9/11 attacks in 2002 and was part of the entry cover of national security issues. ¢-cent-sign a pretty much everybody in this panel i have to disclose public's of interest. in this case i read this of all the time and i enjoyed very much so i apologize for that conflict. next up is sheila krumholz the executive director of the center for responsive that -- responsible politics which is a group that -- money and politics. she became a drifter in 2006 having served for the previous eight years as the senate's research director in a porsche he first joined sierra p. crp in 1989 and if i recall correctly in my notes apparently indicate
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this that she worked as an assistant editor for the first edition of open secrets. the complex here is that we sit on my discussion group together and i admire her work and sunlight of course helps fund open secrets which is the web site that they run in terms of making the underlying data available to the public. moving onto my left is lisa rosenberg ricochets they government affairs consultant and of course since i work at sunlight and she works at sunlight are just there about 10 feet apart so there's probably conflict there as well. she is employed by bernstein strategy group at her role is to lobby congress to meet legislative changes to improve transparency in government. she served as an l.a. -- advising them on issues of technology and campaign finance reform and judicial nominations and she served as counsel for the senate government affairs committee special investigation into campaign finance are regulars. moving on x. we its x. we have paul miller who is the chairman and ceo of miller capital
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strategies llc which is lobbying firm. although i don't have a pretty caro complex with him i do work with his partner at the firm dave who i know reasonably well. paul was a past president of the american league of lobbyists and he is the current head and correct me if i get this wrong the current head of the american league of lobbyists working group on lobbying reform and a little background it was founded in 1979 and has around 1000 members. timely all the way to my left is tom susman the director of government affairs office for the american bar association. i served on the lobbying task force with him for the last 14 months but i served as a nonvoting member so in an advisory capacity. .com is the coeditor of the manual which is a fantastic read. he has worked as an adjunct professor at american university's washington college of law.
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i don't know if you still are but at least at one point you were the chair of the ethics committee for the american league of lobbyists. prior to joining the aba thomas a partner at the washington office of robeson gray llp for 27 years. even prior to that if it is possible to believe leave and believe that it probably is and he served as chief council to the senate judiciary committee also worked for the office of legal counsel in the u.s. department of justice. i welcome all of our panelists in thank you a much for coming. let's start off with dan walking in front of us and who is going to make a short opening statement and i would like to remind all of our panelists when you start speaking please hit the button so the mics work and everyone can hear you. >> good afternoon. my only conflict is perhaps i have made everyone at this table mad at one point or another, i don't know.
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not long after he started covering lobbying at the "washington post" i ran across a fascinating study. focused on a generous tax break that was championed by multinational corporations who lobbied on the hill for it. blasted -- lasted just a year and cost the federal government $100 billion. and so this was a perfect little test tube i guess. there were a group of researchers who found out how much i'll be spent and they have a marketable discovery i thought that for every dollar that the major -- the a major company spent about 800 companies spent on lobbying during the relevant year they gained $220 from the tax break, which i think has a return of something in the range of 22000% which is pretty good. that turned out to be the first and last time that i've ever been able to write a story that came close to calculating the actual return on investment though. and even that obviously it was
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very imperfect since most of the companies involved lobbied on many other things that same year, meaning they actually probably made more than 22000% on that particular investment. the reason the story is so where was pretty simple. we don't have the data. lobbyists disclose more information than ever but it is still falling short of providing a clear view of who is lobbying who, how much they're spending and what they are getting in return. i am just a reporter. i don't take sides on what the policy should be. many lobbies will play the reporting requirements are a huge burden and games by dishonest players at the expense of those who are playing by the rules. there's also a case to be made that more transparency may actually help the vast majority of lobbyists who are upstanding and honest i taking the mystery out of the question which provides a lot of fodder for suspicions and grand conspiracy theories. i guess one thought i would just leave before and here is that one inspiration could be the
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foreign agents registration act which many people may be familiar with, which is overseen by the justice department and has been in place for about 80 years plus i think. you will find detailed reports about who meets with him exactly how much money is changing hands what kind of work to lobbying or media relations firm is doing for its client and so on so it is possible that fair or could provide a roadmap for the kind of reporting that my provide real value on the domestic level. >> thank you so much. it is wonderful to see by the way that your remarks abroad people to their feet. there are some places to sit on the sides over there if you would like. you don't all have to stand. next up is sheila. >> thank you daniel and thanks to everyone here for your interest. the center for responsible politics is a nonprofit research group based in washington and i'm here to talk to you about just the lobbying and revolving
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door work that we do. one important part is to set the stage here. crp's process is with money and politics together the data from the federal government in this case the office of public records and to process classified by industry standardized by organization and analyze it. so that we can aggregate the data by client, by registrant and client industry and issuing agency target and to a degree by lobbyist. also the research provides the premier free resource on total lobbying tabulating $3.5 billion spent breach of the two years running and more than $30 billion spent since 1998. we also analyze the data like your recap march 10 of the lobbying on the administration top priorities over the last two years the stimulus health care finance reform and cap-and-trade legislation which you can find on our blog. this work is difficult, requiring painstaking attention
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to detail and is costly although not nearly as costly as it was when we have to pay to -- still this project currently run 75 to $125,000 a year. along with this the revolving door is a companion database. we maintain tracks cover former positions and also the current governments vision of a former lobbyist. our database currently includes more than 12,000 individuals. we started as a registered lobbyist as a base and we have added onto that from people on the move kinds of daily listings. with this research folks like dan can measure -- three-quarters of all oil and gas lobbies have spun through the revolving door. the revolving door is broken. why is this up to a private entity like ours to do? putting out reliable summary is something that the government
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can and should do but this would presumably take more political will and more money something that is unlikely in the current cost-cutting environment. is highly unlikely that congress would ever agree to invest the resources necessary to do the classification by industry and standardization by organization however if the government were willing to invest in the entity identification work across all government data this would benefit those who monitor lobbying expenditures enormously. so i wanted to talk a little bit about what would be useful to have our wish list and -- starting with deregistration. in a report we did this last june the question we sought to answer was did the recent increase regulation of lobbyists defer registration by motivating them to the register and either cease lobbying work or perhaps continuing to lobby the going under the radar? the answer we found is yes there seemed to be a correlation between added regulation and deregistration. the new regulations preceded an
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increased level of deregistration as to the period of obama's restrictions banning lobbyist from advisory and tarpon stimulus funds which was followed by an additional smaller rise in deregistration. also we measured increased three times the level of free floaty registrations. we found a wide variance in understanding of what is the definition of registration. in fact even the white house with all of the effort to put into not hiring registered lobbyist that had registered lobbyists on their rosters. we would also hope to have specific lobbying visits. tying lobbies to members via specific meeting records would be ideal because then we could more easily auditor relationships. right now those relationships are hidden. members don't generally release their calendars and lobbyists need not disclose the specific number of us at their meeting with their 40s impossible to know whether loving relationship exists and whether it's cemented
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the campaign contributions to campaign our leadership pacts. as it is we can verify relationships via contributions but that is a one-way transactions and knowing whether the door has been open would provide highly useful additional information. lobbyists ids. having unique ids would make her work and the work of many others using lobbying data far easier. lobbyist linked to specific issues and agencies. there things congress can do right now to improve disclosures. stop suppressing the data. data. we had access to lobbyist for specific issue or agency prior to the xml feed being released because we were scraping it but now that they are serving up the data via xml it is off-limits to us so it is one giant leap forward in the small step backward as far as we are concerned. finally house and senate data should be the same. we know from long experience, we started doing this research back in 1996, that these data sets have conflicting information. they should not.
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gudaitis filed separately then congress to use the reconciliation to enforce better disclosure looking for missing or inconsistent reports. finally i just want to add at the time that it takes from submission to the report being accessible on our site is now three to four days off from weeks or months that will but have taken us back in 1987 so i will add more later. >> thank you so much. lisa. >> hi. i'm lisa rosenberg, and i'm a professional lobbyist. i have been accused that is the right word of not being a real lobbyist. referring to me howard our love of president of the american league of lobbyists told "the hill" newspaper the fact is none of these folks are up on the hill doing lobbying work every day like a professional lobbyist does. not because i am sensitive, i think you have to have pretty thick skin. i mention this because it illustrates perfectly why i think we need to have
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comprehensive lobbyist disclosure. of lobbyists are required to report the offices they meet with very soon after they meet with them, how much of my time i spend on the hill who i was talking to them but i was talking about and it would be good for him to know this if he saw that i was meeting with staff for senate rules to discuss the lda. i imagine he would want to follow closely in my heels to tell them all the ways i was mistaken. i think that would be great for the dialogue in the way the information get shared on capitol hill. fundamentally lobbyists are educators and more disclosure would ensure that decision-makers have more complete understanding of all sides of the issue. improving lobbyist disclosure is good for congress and good for lobbyist. the purpose of the lda is to increase public confidence in the integrity of government. the lda has failed in that regard because of incomplete coverage, deficient reporting and delayed reporting.
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it comes as no surprise the public still precedes lobbyist as backroom dealers. i november a 2010 gallup poll asked people to rank the honesty and ethical standards of people in various professions. lobbyists ranked the lowest in many fields including lawyers, car salesmen and members of congress. 61% of respondents ranked lobbyist ethics is very low. at the same time, the public supports better lobbyist disclosure. nearly nine out of 10 respondents supported greater disclosure by lobbyists about their work and their level of congressional contacts according to a 2006 george washington university poll. what that tells me is that lobbying transparency appeals to the public at large and the voter specifically and i'm not alone. senator gillibrand is a great example of someone who takes advantage of the public support for transparency. her own campaign web site noted she was one of first members of congress to publish all of her official meetings on line the
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day after they occurred. the site pointed out that by publishing her official meetings voters get to see who is lobbying for kristin m. on what issues. if the voter see she is met with a group who they opposed they can contact her office to make sure their viewpoints are heard chu. i would only add to that to say that federal lobbyist disclosure would also enable citizens or interest to identify others that support their cause and then use that information to build coalitions or to amplify their message. now of course the lda reforms are not entirely about improving the image of congress or lobbyist or even improving the dialogue on capitol hill. better lobbyist disclosure sure to reduce corruption and the appearance of corruption. this is even more important after the supreme court decisions in the citizens united case. that decision created a stronger link between campaign spending and lobbying are gone now at lobbyist can without ever saying a word imply that their clients will spend billions of dollars
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on negative campaign ads that senators or representatives cannot deal with the backs. transparency is the only immediately available tool to check this type of potential undue influence providing watchdog and journalist with the tools they need to uncover possible conflicts of interest or links between contributions are campaigned as an decision-making. the sunlight foundation supports truly comprehensive transparent and timely lobbyist disclosure. that would contain three major disclosure components. first at a minimum, everyone who is paid to lobby must report his or her lobbying. second lobbyist should report the names of the offices that they are meeting with and what they are meeting about. third, the biggest bumblers of campaign contribution should report all of their lobbying. what is also key to this is that all reporting must be done in real-time and on line so the public has timely access to this information about lobbying. let me be clear. the last thing i want to do is
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burden myself for my very small firm with more paperwork and if it is done right additional lobbying disclosure does not have to be a burden. although the information we are seeking can be reported by lobbyist during the cab ride back to their offices from capitol hill. sunlight created a model app that you can use on cell phones and i want to show you how it works. i have my colleague up there with their mobile disclosure form and using the example i gave earlier if i have talked to senator schumer from new york -- click on new york and find the office of senator schumer and i talked to staff. click on the other other staff, rules committee. build number unfortunately we will have to make up the bill number since there is one yet. client representative, sunlight foundation, lda code would be gov for government reform. action requested, co-sponsor a
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bill. hit submit. of course that goes nowhere because we don't have real-time on line disclosure but if we did you could see how that would need a convenient reporting tool that i think would ease a lot of the reporting requirements on lobbyists right now. one more thing i would like to point out. lobbyist disclosure really can be good for lobbyist. in the american -- facebook page there was a comment i think is very telling. in the state of the union the president for the second year in a row foist his support for stronger lobbyist disclosure. in response one lobbyist said, great, put it out there, if nothing to hide. in fact it would be a great free advertisement about how well i and my firm represent our clients. i hope more lobbyists are willing to see the upside of disclosure and perhaps more important it would help members of congress embrace changes to the lda as a way to create more balance and better dialogue on capitol hill.
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thanks. >> thank you weser. paul. >> goodness, where to start. first let me say now i know i know why the center today. i appreciate the opportunity here. when you can come together and talk about the state of your profession i think it is a good thing. i think we do have to talk about all of these issues might you want to address some of the things. we talk about the lobbying disclosure act which we are required to do. the only difference is she put senator schumer up there. that is the only thing right now you don't technically have to do so the other information is out there. if you choose to put that you met with senator schumer that is okay. by me putting meeting with senator schumer's office that is not true transparency. if you are talking about your transparency you are talking about the individual person he met with and again i hope we can get questions about that because there were problems with the way you do that.
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that is nothing, what you saw is nothing what the current lda asked for other than mentioning senator schumer. if you want to add that in their gut for but i'm happy to support that. i don't think most lobbies will oppose those types of things. i did serve as president of the american league of lobbyists during the jack abramoff scandal and i'm sure most of you are aware of jack abramoff. i've been called every name in the book so i'm used to it. i think lobbying is a credit -- credible profession but when we have to talk about being real stick about some the things we are talking about we can't go trampling on the constitution just because we don't necessary like the word lobbyists are lobbying. the constitution gives you the right to petition your government am only star crossing that line of who should be able to do that and who shouldn't be a allowed see that we are now talking about constitutional rights. we are talking about taking those rights away from one group of people worse is another. is no different than discriminate against a person for their skin color. we have to be very careful about that.
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regulating for the sake of regulating is not good for this profession and not good for this country. when i was president we met with one senior leadership office about lobbying reform efforts they were trying to push through and be pointed out the flaws in the loopholes and what they were proposing and what i was told was we don't care. we need to show the public that we have done something and we have to come out with a victory. you have some folks appear to know this issue but you don't have other key people to have up here. you don't have members of congress. this doesn't work without members of congress. if you want to have transparency and you want more reform you have to have members of congress here. you have got to get them to support these initiatives and when you talk -- we are talking about two different issues. we are talking about lobbying disclosure and campaign-finance. yes there were correlations between the two but you have to have a separate discussion on campaign-finance. i can't do anything about campaign refinance. it is my right to give a donation if i want to. that doesn't mean i'm seeking
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any special privilege or anything else but bennett there. is an opportunity for me my client to support people who support issues. if you want to have a church conversation about campaign finance you have to get the people in the room who are going to be able to make those changes and that is members of congress. i've wanted i know my colleague dave -- dave still has a moratorium. he won't give to members of congress right now. now. it has been to a half years he has taken a pledge. i did when i was president. davis doing it now. again there are some of us who believe that we -- campaign contributions aren't way we are successful so yes have there have been paid to play? i'm not going to sit here and tell you know. jack abramoff is a clear sign of that but for anybody to say the system doesn't doesn't work anybody who broke the law and abramoff scandal went to prison. they weren't lobbyist. they went to prison for their activity because they were members of congress are congressional staffers. one lobbyist went to prison. that was jack abramoff so we have to be cognizant of that. we are the most heavily
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regulated profession. we filed four times a year with the lobbying disclosure act of the county lda 203 which lessard campaign contribution that is another two and brothers like myself who have a small prisons are firm i have to file two, one for myself and one for my firm so i'm duplicating the work here. i am finally six, seven times a year eight times a year in many cases so for somebody to say there is not transparency you can find who i represent on line very quickly. i was a big supporter as was the american league of lobbyists, on line filings. makes it easier for us and we were happy to work with the clerk's office to make that happen as were other groups. i am glad we are here having a frank discussion but you know inaccurate shots of people who aren't here not going to help the discussion. i think there is common ground here but if we are going to create, there is a need for lobbying reform we are going to have to make sure that all the
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rules apply to everybody. we can't have -- john mccain said in the abramoff scandal happened he was less worried about jack abramoff because there was a paper trail for jack. you could find out some of the things that were in the press. the people he were concerned about were a pr consultant who didn't have to file a register. those are what we have to talk about here today. if you want to make the system cleaner, if you want to make it more transparent you have to make sure that you cover everybody and that covers pr consultants, that covers every grassroots consultant and it will even cover some of the folks who are media people who advocate for an issue. anybody who is directly related in advocating for urgent issue should have to register. there can't be carveouts, there can be carveouts for nonprofits, there can't be carveouts for universities. everybody has to -- other white is it is just not going to work.
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one more thing before and here. we talked about 2007 lda changes. a lot of people said and speaker pelosi at the time said they were great. the president himself said these are great changes at the president talks out of one side of his face and does another. he talks about how we should report our meetings with members of congress. yet the president will send his key staff down to a coffee shop a block away to have these meetings which are not reportable so how is that talking about true transparency and reform? if we are going to do if you do at the right thing and he can't do those things and talk about he is doing at the right way and we are doing the wrong way. you have got a bunch of them now and you have to give them waivers. you can't have it both ways in my opinion and then finally campaign financing. everybody thought that was a good thing to get rid of. it works for me. it wasn't spending money giving gifts anyway but you cannot now say that it was a great thing because it now got rid of gifts. it doesn't.
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you push people through the campaign side of things. you are saying you can't take a stand for a 30 or four of dollar meal. we have got real problems in this country but i can now call up that office and, or the campaign folks and say i would like to meet with the senator and have records with them. said for two hours. let's have a discussion about my issues that my clients have and at the end of the day i would have to do is say thank you for your two-hour senator and by the way here's your campaign check. ..
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>> i was very much very deeply involved in it, and i'm very committed and personally believe in the recommendations that were made, so it was a pleasure to have a opportunity to report them to you, and i should say there were 20 members and observers. dan was part of it. there were a few in the audience here who participated. a number of law firms and lobbyiests and law firms that lobby, and the report remits a consensus. i'm going just to flow out briefly skimming the top of what it recommends to get to questions, but i suggest a few things it doesn't recommend.
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expanded disclosure. our task force report, and by the way, it's on the web under the administrative law section site. expand disclosure that picks up additional lobbyists by down away with the 20% requirement for minimum to report an expansion of the need to report as suggested to support entities that are involved. those like grass root organizing, media generating, you know, consultants, pr consul at that particular times. they would not be lobbiests for whatever discrimination and immigration wants to impose or
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other, you know, legal prohibitions, but they would be required to file 203's, and the amount of money would be disclosed. then finally, the ld2 form would be expanded to require additional disclosure elements, but not contact reporting, and that's an issue i guess that paul and i stand on this end of the spectrum separate from all of the other speakers, and i hope we'll have another opportunity, i won't go into it now, but i have at least five or six reasons why i think it's a bad idea, and frankly the burden on the lobbyists that in large part could and well will alleviated by a cell phone or a
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smart phone app to fill in after you finish with the meeting, but i think it's a bad idea for the lobbyiests and the member, and we need to get back to that. the pay to play is addressed. at the heart is a simple concept. if you make a campaign contribution to a member, you can't lobby that member for two yearings. if you lobby a member, you can't make a -- i'm sorry, you can't do campaign fund raising for that member for two years. it does not inhibit the individual contribution. we discussed that and our very as a matter of fact constitutional law -- smart constitutional law professors said there could be a problem prohibiting individual campaigns equivalent to first amendment speech, but so far bundling campaign and serving as treasury have not yet been considered to be directly
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speech, and we would prohibit that for a two year period with compelling government interest to do so. finally, a few miscellaneous proposals. one is to simply require all persons who lobby for earmarks to certify in their semiannual ld203 forms that they haven't contributed or sought contributions from individuals or packs from any member who was lobbies. it's a little broader prohibition for earmark lobbying, and then we also address con ting gent -- contingent fees with the ban of contingent fee lobbying for earmarks, tax breaks, guarantees, contracts, and other direct benefits that have a
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monetary value, and then finally, the need for greater enforcement, and this is one that those of you who have been involved in lobbying disclosure legislation know that every time the issue comes up, there's always a debate, where to put enforcement. it remains right now in the house and senate to collect and refer, and the justice department, u.s. attorney's office to bring cases, that has not proved a very successful ray of doing business. consideration is always given to the ftc because it ought to be a place where rule making authority and civil enforcement authority, congressional participation where lobbying regulation could work, but it's been a dysfunctional agency and so the task force proposed the civil division of the department of justice to have that
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authority. those were the recommendations for those of you interested in following it. comments and suggestions and criticisms are being invited by the aba now. if you want to send them to me, that's fine. i can refer them to the task force and counsel of administrative law section, and it won't be until august until there's action on the house of delegates to approve or not these recommendations. thank you. >> thank you, tom. there are a couple chairs over on the far side of the room if you wish to try to wander over there, if not, make yourselves as comfortable as you can. we heard reference to a couple different reports. the sunlight foundation didn't mention this, but i'm sure they will. they are working reform legislation, the ada task force report, and put forth by the american league of lobbyists. there's a piece of paper that
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provide links to where the documents can be found and other useful resources like sheila mentioned so if you are trying to find them, instead of searching around, i put them together. if you excuse the spelling errors, you will find they are pretty useful. i'd like to come back around and starts with dan. you were talking earlier about this 22,000 fold on return in investment on a particular instance you worked on for every dollar spent lobbying, the tax break resulted was $220 for the clients of the firms that was doing so, and the question that i have for you, and it goes, i think to the substance all of what we're talking about here is what would be helpful if you trying to do your job? what would make it easier, you know, to find what you're looking for?
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you mentioned the data base and registration act that tracks people who lobby for foreign governments. what in particular about that would be useful or is there something else particularly handy? >> well, i think, and it dove tails with what someone on the other side of the table mentioned, and i'm interested to hear what the concerns are with contact reporting. i mean, that's the bottom line that ties things together. if i'm going through a lobbying report, you can tell which lobbyists have lobbied on which bills, but you can't tell how much was spent on that. you know, you don't know if it took them a day or if they spent 8 months on it in terms of the overall workload of that given firm or that given lobbyist, so i think, you know, that the -- when you look at fair records,
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actually, i remember the first time i had, you know, did a story related to fair, and i was not familiar with it. i was like, wow, this is off. it was like a gold mine of information compared to what i was used to under the, you know, the congressional system. the, you know, they are required to report all meetings, required to report, you know, when they happened, require to report the, you know, the contracts are public, the amount of money -- i'm not saying going that far in a domestic context, there's national security reasons for that system and bolster the art for that -- argument for that level of intrusiveness. i'm interested to hear from involved lobbyists and what the concerns are of reporting who you actually talk to and why that could pose a problem from the lobbying perspective. >> would somebody like to
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address that? >> sure, go ahead. >> yeah, sure. let's start with the gilibrand example. she posted official visits. >> what about artificial visits? >> is a fundraiser an official visit or unofficial visit? it the lobby -- is the lobby official or unofficial? if it doesn't go through the scheduling of the secretary, is that official or unofficial? the reason it's important is because i'm supporting the candidate running against her next year, and i'm going to show just how big a lie she's engaged in trying to tell the public how transparent that is and how many people she's meeting that are not posted and how absolutely distrustful that kind of approach is, but then as a political consultant i represent
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another candidate who is running against a conservative southern member of congress, a christian conservative, and we are having the right to life and marijuana lobbyists visit his office two or three times a day because i want my candidate to be able to report what a hypocrite this guy is spending more time with these sinful lobbyists than he does with religious lobbyists, so, finally even if i'm perfectly honest, when i come up to the congressional offices, i know that paul's tracking me because he has a client who's on the other side of this issue, and so i'm actually going to visit a half dozen offices on my way to where i want to go and talk substance so that i can list all
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seven of them. you won't know the difference between the ones dropped by hello, here's a piece of paper or our issue and the ones where we spent a half hour why serious strategic negotiations. i didn't mention the burden issue because the aba is only engaged with communicating with congress on about 120 issues a year with nine registered lobbyists, so you want to break that out issue-wise? i mean, i can't afford not to talk about more than one issue when i actually get face time with a member of a chief of staff, and so that's going to be, i'd say at least complicated. >> i think tom said it perfectly. i add what constitutes a meeting? i do charity work with members at congress that have nothing to do with basketball, and i have a personal policy if i do charity work with them, i don't lobby them. >> you're alone. >> well, maybe, but i think there are others.
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if i'm walking down the hall and i see congressman x and i pull him aside to discuss the date, are you going to play this year, you know, we need you there, there's x amount of people there. okay, i'm going to play this year. do i report this as a meeting? does he report that as a meeting? what if a member of congress go to a coalition meeting? do they have collect business cards and say i met with these people? it's burdensome. i don't care, i'm not going to track people. i don't have the time. i know my issues, where i'm going, and what i have to get done so i just think it's an unwieldy system to think in particular that you could do it every day. it's just not possible. i just don't believe it. who's it benefiting? transparent use for the public to see who we meet with, okay, i understand that. this is not for the general public. the general public is not going
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to know why i meant with the senators. it may just be a name to them. what are they going to do with this? let's be honest. this is for the media to track this, and, again, no problems with the media, but let's not pretend there's overinflated stories that paul miller met with congressman exx on this issue and they were successful. there had to be a quid pro quo, even if i did give them money, why can't it be i was just good at my job? i'm low rent when it comes to that. i'm not buying anything. i go to a fundraiser with 30-40 of my closest friends. i'm not buying that vote regardless of what people think. i'll just leave it at that. >> i feel like i have to defend the argument that contacts really should be reported.
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you know, getting to tom's point in gilibrand with the lobbyists having to report is the lobbyists know what they are doing. if a lobbyists goes to a meeting asking about substantive health, they know that. the clients know that. that's how i build the cline clients. it's not difficult to know that's why you're going to hill. if you ask a member of congress to join you at the basketball game, that's not a substantive issue on asking government help for something. paul's not going to be billing his clients saying, hey, let's go to this basketball game. let's take this seriously. lobbyists know who they are going to, what they want, and what they are going after. they have that knowledge base. it's not burdensome for them to figure out what meetings are substantive. we're not asking for reporting of hi, how are you or a request
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for a meeting or logistics. it's a sub stanty request for government action, and that language is already in the law, and i think getting to the point of that tom made in terms of how these meetings can be used against you, you know, again, everyone has to report, you balance out the issues. you know, when i worked on the hill, i took meetings with everyone who wanted one or our office did, and if they all have to be reported, then i think that diffuses the heat attached to any one particular meeting, so i think these are issues we can work through. they are not easy issues, but i think definitions can be created to really resolve the issues so we have meaningful reporting so it can be for the public and the media. that's how the public gets its information, and i think that that is important. that is what transparency is about.
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it's for interest groups. they can track their interests and who is meeting with whom, and as i was saying, kind of leveling the playing field, balancing the playing field so that all sides of the issues can be disclosed. >> can i add -- >> i wanted to give dan is chance to weigh in. >> i don't have anything. >> i do have one question for i'm curious about the argument from the lobbying perspective basically it's too much to keep track of, too complicated. i mean, these are by and large law firms. there are a lot of law firms doing lobbying, and then there's specialized lobbying firms. i'm quite sure they require, the clients require, they want to know what you're doing with their money. i think you're keeping track of it anyway, aren't you? i don't understand that part of the argument about it being too much. >> two things. first, what about the small shop?
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if i have five different clients i represent on different issues, i don't have time, now, i did this, i have to add 15 minutes to any schedule to track this and write this down. >> it doesn't take 30 minutes. >> i don't use my cell phone for that. i'll spend time at the end of the day when i want to be home with my kids. i have to now write context. if we're going that far, what are we going with the professional people coming here three or four times a year for association, not registered lobbyists, but asking for something. do they report that? require them to register? they are doing what i do, just not on a daily basis. maybe once a quarter, but they are doing what i do. we should have the information and track those people because they are asking for what i'm asking for. if they know what i'm doing, why shouldn't i have the ability to know what they're doing? >> i agree with that.
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tom mentioned this too closing the 20% loophole anyone who pays to lobbies reports has to be part of a reform. there cannot be exceptions. i agree with that. >> everybody in america is going to have to register. you're calling on associations to cancel fly-in days because they will be a considered a lobbyists, but they are not professional lobby is. >> i think the task force addresses this particular point. >> it still retains a monetary threshold, so it doesn't catch people who are not paid to come in with a certain amount of money, but corporations, trade associations, and most lobbying firms that do retain or work don't keep hourly -- i'm i practiced law for 20 years. you're right. every law firm, we keep either six or 15 minutes worth of time that the lawyer spends including lobbying, who, how, and when,
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but we've tried time reporting. i see a few colleagues smiling who are in the audience, for the american bar association, and, you know, it's just, it really does add a great deal of time, and it's often unclear to us. i mean, we know who we are talking to, but the issues are often sort of welded into the work we do is preparatory, involves relationship building which isn't an official ask. i mean, when the ark ba president comes into town, we try to take her or him up to meet with chairman of committees and because we also provide assistance and information and support for some of them, and we actually, i mean, i know you wouldn't believe it, but we go on a fair amount of visits where there's not a request for any
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official action. are they important? yes. are they waisted time? absolutely not. do they support the lobbying octoberives? i sure hope so. will they will reportable under your system? no. they shouldn't be, but there's nothing, i just think that the noise level will be so high when every lobbyists is reporting every contact that despite your terrific computers and wonderful reports that the ability to extract really useful information out of this is going to be not worth the investment. >> if i could ask a follow-up, and this is just a crazy flip of the script question i guess. what if you flip it the other way and the burden is on the member's office or the committee's office? i propose there's visitor laws at the white house. >> what you saw in 2007, they are going to shut themselves off to us.
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who wants to do the paper work. i just won't meet you. that happened in 2007 and take into account. -- 2008. it happened because you were a registered lobbyists and they didn't what the hassle. is that good for the government and our system? i don't think so. i want to turn and come at this from a different perspective, sort of, you know, we're talking about the reporting side, let's talk about the side available for what we have now. turning to you, sheila. during your remarks you talked about ids which is a terrible term which is figuring out who, whether the person you talk to is the same person. can you talk about that more in the problems you're currently facing and trying to track the data currently exists and where the gaps can be filled? >> sure. we, in our data, are trying to
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fingerprint 2-3 million records a year. a large part of that is the individual donations of giving more than 200 in campaign contributions, but we also do id lobbyists, and part of that is because we want to be able to see whether those lobbyists are working on specific issues and then at least contributing to members who have jurisdiction over the issues in congress, and so that's just one kind of mash up that might be one combination of two different sets of data one might do with the lobbying information, but unique id's help tremendously for work to do that. we create unique id's per individual lobbyists in the data to say this person remitting these clients this year is representing these clients and industries in previous years. it would also help enormously -- it helps in the standard research, with mashups with other kinds of data like the campaign contributions, and help
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enormously in tracking deregistration. that's a hot topic of conversation over the last few years with regulation reform because the -- id's help us identify how many lobbyists deregistered with the addition of a check box, another simple reform in the disclosure closure forms that would seem to be a common sense change that could be put in place now. this is helping us examine whether reform policies have their intended effects or unintended effects which of course was alleged with the obama administration's changes. we invested in enormous amount of our time doing that kind of standardization of individuals. >> the way things exist right now, picking on you, paul, because you have a simple name that's probably common. >> i'm a simple person. [laughter] >> so as things -- the way things work now is paul's firm files these forms; right?
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it's not filed individually; is that correct? >> the registering to vote. >> if i want to follow all the contacts he's reporting, there's not a way to know this paul miller is the same of this paul miller reported in another place? >> right. >> you have to look through each one to make sure it's the same person; is that right? >> right. we don't have id provided to us by the secretary of senate's office. >> all lobbyists have that idea though; is that right? >> we do. an easy way to do this, and i may be in the minority, but maybe each lobbyists has their own identification number to put next to your name. in the past, yeah, i write my name paul a miller, but some days i forget. >> that can mislead us.
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[laughter] >> yeah, that's it. if i filed the next quarter as paul miller, i'm the same person, but you may not know that, and jowl -- you'll have a hard time. not many of us would care if we had a unique identifier. it's not a big deal, just another box to check in, and if you're doing it electronically, it stays in there quarter to quarter if you save the documents any. i don't think it's a problem, and i may be a handful in the town who believe that. you know what? i've always been concerned that, you know, there's no real requirement to be a lobbyist other than finding a client who pays and there's no required education. i mean, the american league of lobbyists has a program now we are proud of that we started before the scandal, but i say, and it's probably unconstitutional, but maybe we should be licensed. i talked to lawyers and they say
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it's unconstitutional, but i would support manager like that. -- something like that. that's any own -- that's my own opinion. i know there's recommendation on this particular point with respect to unique id's for others. i want to get something to this side of the room brought up. >> it has to do with the 20% threshold. as the law currently stands, and i feel very app presencive about summarizing it, but to be a federally registered lobby is, you have two things. you need to spend 20% of your time lobbying, and you need to send over a certain threshold amount. what i hear from all three of you is this 20% threshold may not make sense. i'm hearing from you, paul, there's a lot of people doing lobbying support work. you know, you referenced the scandal that there's a lot of people doing these behaviors that are not caught in the
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registration system. i know the aba lobbying task force reduced the number significantly as well, and some light is approaching this, so i want to play through this a little bit. starting with the tough question for lisa. if you eliminate the 20% exemption, there's a lot of folks when are the -- who are the small firms. at sunlight, it's a small lobbying shop. there's one at your firm as well. is it fair to treat, you know, the full profit folks, people remitting appropriations and deep pockets, should those folks be treated the same as the small fly in terms of getting rid of the 20% or entirely some sort of threshold level? >> i think that the concern that a lot of lobbyists for nonprofit organizations have with removing the 20% threshold comes as a
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result of some of the punitive for lack of a better word, actions that the obama administration says we are not hiring lobbyists and they cannot serve on boards. wait a minute, we are different than the for-profit guys or the big guys, and we shouldn't have this punitive treatment. i would say from my perspective, i don't want to be in the position of picking and choosing of who should have to report and who should not. there could be a powerful lobbyist organization compared to a for-profit lobbyist with a small firm. they could have more influence and access than another person. i don't think it's fair in terms of disclosure to break it up that way. i would personally rather see some of these punitive issues that are imposed on lobbyists by the obama administration and others just removed. if there's people the
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administration doesn't want served in its regime, use a different definition to define those people. you should not use that to say you can't work for me or serve on this committee. we should not pick and choose who has to disclose and who doesn't. we don't get the big picture, and that opens the door to a lot of loopholes as well. there's ways 20 game the system -- to game the system saying i only work 19% of the time. there's huge lobbyists now, former members of congress who don't report, but we know they are lobbying, and it's not that they are violating the current law, just relying on the 20% exception. that's not something we can continue in the future. >> i think we had a successful day today because we just agreed on one thing. [laughter] >> the question coming back to well, just because you are small, you shouldn't have to do this, and you are big and you
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have to require more reporting and because you are bigger and you're a non-profit so you are not making the money a big corporate lobbyist is. you can make the same argument on the contacts issue. i'm a small guy. why do i have to pay that time. i want a carve out too. if we carve people out for this and that, you are diluting the process. if you capture one, you have to capture all. if you advocate for or again something, you should be required to report, and it should be open to the public to find out who they are and what they're doing, otherwise we're wasting time, and again, great tv. >> tom? >> i would say three years ago when i was in a multinational private law firm representing association clients that don't distinguish between non-profits and for-profits. after all, the nra, the hospital center, yale university, they
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are all profits. now that i work here, i'm beginning to rethink that subject. [laughter] >> i'll ask the reenforcement question and then move to the audience. everything i've read and what we heard today is that enforcement is incredibly lax. the goj never brings prosecutions. the house and senate, office of public records, the clerk, are not situated in such a way where they clean up the records make sure the house and senate records are with each other. they are not in the least. this is going to be -- this is a long question. there was a proposal i think in the last congress sort of two pieces. one piece of it was that lobbyists should have to pay a small registration fee, $10 per
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lobbyist, and if you file late there's a $500 late fee as a way to fund the system. i don't know if this is a good or bad idea, but i'm trying to think of ways that address the enforcement question. i know the aba deals with this a little bit in terms of recommending that the civil division try to deal with this, but i was hoping and going down the list, paul, do you have thoughts on how enforcement can be beefed up? i know this is one the five principles. >> this is probably more suited for tom with his background, and aisle tell you -- i'll tell you, you can't ledge -- legislate morality. there's always people who cheat the system. is that every lobbyists in town? no. it's a small few. those who worked in the profession long enough know who those people are and you stay away. eventually, they will pay the piper, and jack did. is there a way to police everything we do now?
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no. in my opinion, you're on the honor system, and a lot of us hold true to that. we subscribe to the code of ethics, and it's in our office. everybody who works for me has to go through the lobbying ser certificate program. i don't know how you enforce that. again, particularly, it's a revolving door. they are not registered lobbyists, just seeing their pals. >> is honesty good enough? >> look, there's a few ways of looking at that. i mean, you can't enforce morality, but that doesn't mean we don't have laws against bribery or actually speeding. i mean, we don't catch everybody, but having a law that sets a limit and some people get caught sends a pretty strong message to the rest of us who would engage in activity that was illegal, not just unethical,
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if it were defined as illegal, and so therefore the fact that -- the fact that enforcement is going to be imperfect doesn't mean that there shouldn't be enforcement or penalties, okay. the second side of it is how do you do this? there's a lot of political problems with the fec, and congress doesn't want to put enforcement in someone else's hands, especially when it's enforcement that will implicate congress as almost every lobbyist violation does, and so, you know, because it's very tough. i mean, you know, congress does not want to give an executive branch agency the authority to effectively police something so near and dear to the heart and close to the pocketbooks of congress and members of congress' campaigns. it doesn't say that we can't do a better job. you know, we try -- the initial federal registration of
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lobbying, regulation of lobbying had criminal penalties only. that was a big mistake. it didn't work. the justice department abandoned enforcement completely decades ago. we tried as different regime under the lobbying disclosure act, and it was -- use the term "imperfect," you know, u.s. attorneys send letters and not follow up, and dna was responsible for turning up the information request to get the only instances of justice department consent actions and didn't tell us much information about it. it's not as if enforcement is used as a way of keeping people within the lines because they don't tell you about enforcement. well, something was tried to be
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done about that of greater disclosure of referrals and actions taken, and i guess that may not be working that well either, so i'm not sure, you know, we'll think of some new ways to get it, but to say that because it's difficult, we shouldn't think in terms of enforcement i think is not the right approach here. >> with that, i'd like to open it up to questions, and we have someone with the microphone, melanie, and we'll start in the front and work back. >> just a fair warning, it works better if i hold it, so i'll awkwardly try to come to you. >> i have a question about the extent of either interest or resistance to any of these proposals in terms of whether or not anybody talked to members of
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congress about them and what you heard back, what you think you might hear back, and it seems like any of these have gotten to the extent of being introduced as legislation. has anybody been talking to potential sponsors, that kind of stuff? anything to share along those lines? >> easy answer. as i said it's not yet the official position of the american bar association, so as the aba's chief lobbyist, i can't advocate beyond appearing in an educational program like this. >> [inaudible] >> we won't be actively pursuing it, but i will say it's a long-term agenda, ken, in that, you know, congress dnt going to be rushing into considering lobbying legislation this session. it's going to take something else. you know, whether it's the next scandal or working up to the next election that the members will look around first saying we need to do something about this. what can we do? all of us have the same thoughts
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on having tried and tested language and exposed concepts ready to go when that time occurs, and so that, that's the optimistic perspective. >> i would add one thing, and that is that representative quigley in the last congress introduced a broad sweeping bill, and in it were provisions on lobbying disclosure. it wasn't as comprehensive as some would have liked although it included some contact disclosures. i think he's going to introduce that bill again, but i would agree with tom. i think this should be an opportunity to educate members of the congress on what can be done, what needs to be done, and kind of build the knowledge that way. >> i would just add that in your
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paper, there's a link that has all the lobbying related bills introduced in the last congress. the only comprehensive one was transparency in government act. there were a couple small fixes in there as well. you have the links, so you can find out about that. over to this side. sir? >> yeah, thanks. just a comment first. all of the big points being talked about here today enforcement, coverage of the lobbying support type people, issues like that, greater disclosure of contacts, there's really nothing new conceptually with all of these raised a number of times in the past, first, and they haven't generally dealt with them for a range of reasons. second, as a long time lobbyists been in lobbying for 30-something years and outspoken
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many times on the need for lobbying reform, i can tell you there's many lobbyists in town who do, in fact, support indeed greater reforms than say sunlight or certainly greater than the aba. as a long term lobbyist who has made countless contacts, i'm a little troubled by having to, the thought of having to report every time i talk to someone. you know, it is a burden if i'm doing my job, believe me, i'm talking to everybody on the bloody committee that's been with it anyway. i think you folks from the press and sunlight may be putting a little more emphasis on that than it's worth. the big things that are talked about here are the broader coverage of people, the greater enforcement, and the need to separate campaign finance from
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the lobbying process. >> i just want to respond quickly. in terms of coverage, maybe we disagree on the degree of contacts that should be reported. the lobbying law right now though says that i, as a lobbyist, have to report whether i met with the house, senate, or executive branch, and i feel that's meaningless. to say what office or committee i met with i don't think is that much more the burden, and i think it would add a lot to the unking, and it's been done. there's a law that can that requires contacts to be reported, a san fransisco reporting regime. these are not across the country, but i do think that is an amount of detail that i don't think is difficult to come up with. >> i agree with you if it's simply me saying i'm contacting all the people, i'm happy to list their names, but if it means having to go back and in
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and list every time i'm dealing with that particular office of l.a., that gives me more concern. >> well, again, i think another proposal of some that differs from the aba is we do annual -- you may disagree with this, we encourage realtime reporting of meetings or near as possible. with that said, i agree with you, if it's one continuous conversation, i go back on forth with a staffer on one issue, than that is unreal usic, i agree to have to report that same conversation every time i have it. well, what about this? well, you have to do x, y, az. we have to be reasonable. i don't want to report every time a send an e-mail either, but to say every quarter even if i list who i met with, that misses the point in that this really is an effort to improve
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the dialogue. if a quarter goes by, and i don't know who paul talked to and maybe he talked with folks on the government reform committee, you know, maybe it's too late, and maybe i can't get my message heard in realtime, in the amount of time that it needs to be meaningful. >> can i add to that? again, it's not my job to help you do your job. i'm a lobbyist. i have a strategy. i'm meeting with people as was pointed out. if i'm doing my job correctly, i'm meeting with everybody on the committee. it's not my job to do your job for you. if you want to track who i'm meeting with so you can go in behind me, that's not what the transparency system is for. it's not to help you do your job, but to help people see who we meet with. that's a whole new level. i have to be responsible for your job. can i get a piece of your paycheck at the end of the month? i'll be happy to do that.
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>> it's about trust in government and the integrity of the process. that's why we need -- >> me doing your job as far as telling you who i met with so you can go in after me to send your message, that's not transparency, that's me doing your job. >> part of the problem the public has with is institution and profession is they think there's backroom meetings going on behind closed jobs. >> you're skewing the argument. the public wants to know who i'm tracking. as was said, if you want us to click down bar goes, i'm happy to click that, but what you're now saying is the general public wants to know i met with scott peterson in the xyz committee at three o'clock p.m.. no, that's what you want me to do. you're asking me to do your job and who i'm meeting with. >> look at the example we use, it doesn't say the name of the staffer, what time the meeting took place, although that's implied i guess by when it was
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sent, so, no, i think you're reading too much into it. i think the integrity of the institutions require more of this is out here so people don't perceive lobbyists as having behind closed door meetings. >> how do you -- and phone calls, i hate to say it, but given the dynamics of capitol hill and security and the wonders of electronic communications, you know, you can cover a lot more territory with e-mails than a telephone. realtime reporting? >> again, that's a fair question. we can't go create a loophole while doing this, so i'm not going to say it's only face-to-face communications because that obviously sweeps that much more into electronic communications, but those communications have to be covered. again, you know, if it's an initial contact of saying, hay what do you think of reform, and there's 27 e-mails back and
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forth between the staffer and lobbyists on that, no, not all 27 e-mails have to be reported. does the initial e-mail have to be reported, that initial contact -- >> would we then send out a communication to the senate on appropriations matters to all 100 snorts? >> i think -- i think the aba in your propose -- >> no, aba doesn't require contact reporting. that was -- i raised that as a subject that was not included in the file. >> regardless, i think there's ways to carve out. >> wait a second, wait a second -- >> here we go -- >> we're not carving out. >> you can make a filing requirement that says every member of the senate commerce meeting, every congress, every democratic member. >> yes, absolutely, absolutely you can, how helpful is that with you because as wright said,
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lobbyists is not cofering every member before an important issue comes out. >> how helpful is it to know that someone's meeting with every member of a particular committee, for example, or they send out a communication to every member of the senate, everybody working on a particular issue? >> well, first that actually is helpful in the sense that it shows, obviously the importance of an issue to a given lobbying group an that sort of thing. the other thing is it often reviews and you find out when you report out a story like this on a committee level or something, a lot of times it says who they don't meet with and contact. sometimes it's partisan, sometimes it's their just dealing with the republicans or the democrats. exhale, that is having some value. i don't know if it's worth the tradeoff. that's a policy debate, but there is actually some benefit
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to that. well, i should let sheila deal with it first, and i'll come back with it. i'm interested in the call pain finance point -- campaign fans point made. that was interesting. >> also from our perspective we're interested in identifying measuring to some degree, the relative's clout, it's useful to see a relationship. this client and/or their representation meat with that member or that chairman or ranking member of that committee, and it -- so it demonstrates a relationship and it demonstrates the relative clout of a particular interest. the frequency of which an entity is meeting with or lobbyist is meeting with members of congress demonstrates the money they put behind it. we don't have any way of knowing how much, you know, patent is
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spending on a particular issue relative to any others, but if you're concerned about -- >> a lot. [laughter] >> so if you want to know, well, how much is fiser putting behind health care reform, you'd be able to then see how often their representation is listing and meeting with a chairman of a committee that has jurisdiction over the issue and how often they list the issue as their topic they are pursuing. >> can i play the devil's advocate on that one? what happens is the notice is on me to do this and i want to be the next superlobbyist in washington for however long it lasts, i want to build my client list and make millions. i write on there i met with every chairman, every chief of staff to help bolster my claim that i'm the best in town and i have the access that is needed to represent people, that's not an accurate reporting, and who are you going to believe? it's my word against there's.
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if they are not reporting, who's to say i didn't do it. >> your point is people will lie? >> could be. look at the top-25 roll call and how much they jump. i venture to guess if you went through the reports, and there has probably been misleading accounts in there bolstering the dollar figures in there to make it in the top-20. >> that's back to the question of reenforcement. >> i'm just playing devil's advocate. >> i think people with lie now and we have much, much less information. i agree with the comment earlier to know that someone lobbied the house or the senate is virtually worthless, and so it's trying to measure for the average citizen how much is -- are these powerful money interest players and pushing on a particular issue so that they can then
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gauge how much the congress is passing legislation or halting legislation based on the merits and not based on the interests in their relationships with them. >> so, dan, did you want to weigh back? >> i did. the campaign finance issue is interesting to me, not so much -- well, for the predictable reasons the way it plays out in this town, the way that you gain influence and prestige by raising money for members and all that sort of thing, but what's most interesting is reflected in the question that the dirty little secret is a lot of lobbyists just hate it, and they would gladly never have to do another fundraiser again, and so i'm very intrigued by the aba idea because i think that basically gives everyone and out is my reading of that. if you -- i mean, as a lobbyist are you are the type of lobbyist
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is basically pressured into the system, into the having to show up and sign the check and all that, you can say, you know, look, i have to do my job, so i can't, you know, raise money for you. is that the intent? can you talk about that idea? >> i'd love to because as a predicate to that, when we -- when the task force got together there was a thinking this is lawyers, the american bar association, we don't need to think too broadly. lawyers have code of ethics and they are enforceable by losing your license. what about doing something that applies to lawyers that makes lawyers pay to play through mixing lobbying and campaign finance, and, of course, the answer to that was well, that puts paul miller at tremendous disadvantage to us because he's not a lawyerment okay, i then approached anl when they were revising the code of ethics.
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i said how about you guys considering addressing this issue as part of the code? well, i mean, a lot of people dropped out of the american league of law. nonmembers would be able to give money. i hear this echo throughout that i think probably most of the professional lobbyists in the room would say and agree. i mean, they are interested because, you know, we are interested in the betterment of the profession or you would not be here; right? as long as it's a level playing field and all lobbyists are equally situated, then we would love not to be criticized and vilified by day and have members or fundraiser's hands in our pockets for breakfast and nighttime so having that across the board, you know, that would require legislation and congress
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is not likely to be enthusiastic about removing that lucrative, a source of fund raising, from the system, and that's a problem because there are some reasons that people give money and raise money that don't relate to substantive objectives in your lobbiesment i mean, a friend running for congress or a friend in congress, just a personal, i don't do business with him, but, you know, i would write a check. i don't know that i'm working for a non-profit, but, you know, a little token of my personal affection, or, you know, paul comes to me and says i need you to, you know, i'm going to a fundraiser. this is a subject i know you believe it, the education thing, i send a check with him, and then i call him back. that's not commitment. i'm not looking for octoberive to me, but a favor as part of
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the lobbying community. that's a small amount, very tiny. most of it is you are looking for something, you know, support of your industry because a member helped or you wanted them to help, access, it's not vote buying, but when you are influential in keeping a member in officer by raising substantial funds, it's worth something to that member, and, you know, i've spoken and written from time to from time to time about the very basic principle of reprosty. is it when you've done a favor for a member of congress? it's hard wired to respond to that favorably in some way. >> and i would agree to a lot of what tom says, but what happens in a situation where you have
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somebody, again, spends $500 in a two year cycle on a member because they do want that person back because they are so supportive of say small business issues. they not necessarily working anything for them in particular, but they spend $500 now. is that a quid pro quo because they want that person to stay there? campaign contributions shouldn't be vilified. yes, again, i agree with both of you. there are a lot of things that need to be changed and the question is how do you do that by not making it so difficult for the average person like myself to support someone? >> campaign contributions and fund raising opportunities and being a campaign treasurer or chair, hosting or supporting fund raising events, bundling of many different sorts. those are all activities going beyond the individual contribution. is that something that you could
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feel comfortable saying that it's wrong for lobbyists to do with respect to regular law? >> if you're a lobbyist, you shouldn't be a treasurer or running any member of congress' pact. i just don't think you should be in the business of that. the line is too skewed. again, say one of my clients is a small business association and says we would like so have an industry like this, would you organize and host it? i don't see anything wrong with that, putting my name on an invite asking members of that industry to support this member of congress because he or she has been so supportive of the issues that are important to them. not necessarily they are asking him or her to do something specific, but, again, we want to keep people supportive on issues, otherwise, if i get the other guy or woman, i'm not better off, and i should close up shop and move into a different profession because it makes my job harder. >> now, of course, if this was a direct gift to the person because you were pleased with
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the work they did to support small businesses, and you wanted them to have your $500, that's illegal gratuity because it's given to them by virtue of their position. >> you should arrest everybody in america then. >> we're not going to arrest anybody, but craft rules that separate fund raising from lobbying. . .
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because i've been working lobby reform for so long and that is we struggle so much in terms of who is a lobbyist and defining that and getting from the report as a one-person shop how you don't have too much burden. and i find myself, and she lied and i have had this conversation thinking maybe we do have this to put the wrong way and rather than all these individuals out here trying to report, why aren't public officials themselves dipping these reports? if they meet with someone who's a registered lobbyist, that should be on the database. the registered lobbyist the have a unique identifier. you know who that is. we know if we go to the exit of branch and to try to have a meeting with the executive branch these days by the time you get your social security number and information just to get in the door in your id it's not the question saying this is burdensome, you have everything
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in the world practically about you. my question back to you is should we take a step back and think that the reporting shouldn't be by the lobbyist but by the government official who is receiving it and by that way you have a better chance of having education importance and have an accurate information because there's more accountability. an idea. >> anybody want to guess that at that? >> i would say no. i would rather have more reporting requirements myself and forced to do it because what you're going to do in my opinion is close them all and you're not going to meet with us. and again if i have to go and give them my social security number, date of birth and all this other stuff it's been to take a long while for me to get a moving and if i wanted to drop by have to go through part of a requirement to get through the database to see if i'm okay and i am not somebody that's going to blow up the building or something like that. i'd rather take a few more -- have a few more burdensome steps
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on myself versus to do it to them. i don't think it is going to be effective and we are going to close of the process. that is my 2 cents. >> my numbers and do them to themselves because the likelihood unintended error that could get a member in trouble with you wanted -- if you walk in the door you have to scan your lobby id number but if you catch them in the hall, you didn't. and so, leader the lobbyist is going to come out they met with so and so because we have to report that or not. the member hasn't reported it. they don't -- you know, that's just i think going to be viewed by members and as a trap for them and i think paul's point that it will chill exchanges, you know, lobbyist discussions
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isn't a bad thing i don't think. so, i'm not really enthusiastic about making the numbers are uncertain about whether they should talk to you. i mean that is what sort of amounts to. >> i was going to say i think it's fluid and easier to make the leveraging technology to make instantaneous i think it would be -- it is a lawyer curdle because they are going to use the burden as i think we've already heard from some public officials use that as an excuse to not even go, so it is a hybrid and to get them to act on it but it's a high your bar if the view it as a burden that they are adopting for themselves. >> speaking of bars some stiff legislatures require lobbyists to wear white and education tax. it seems to me if we all had a bar code with our i.t. on it that way a member would only
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have to have a little portable scanner. [laughter] never mind. anyway, so you want to have the last word on that? in that case i would like to thank -- you want to see something? >> i am rabin and i just felt like it would be appropriate for me to
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that's not so easy to get wrong. any we would like to thank them both for making the room available. they are a pleasure to work with and i'd like to thank all of our panelists for joining to talk about this important issue. the next advisory committee at this event will be april 14th. it will be on the future of the crs. the head of the congressional research service is stepping down and will be discussing what happens next with them. thank you for the panelists again and for all of you for coming. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations]
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despite what passes conventional wisdom in certain circles there is nothing radical or an american in holding these hearings. >> ascribing evil acts to an entire community is wrong. it is an effective and risks making our country less safe. >> watch the entire hearing by the homeland security committee on possible radicalization in the u.s. muslim communities along with other events before and after the hearing including reaction from the viewers all online at c-span video library. search, watch, clich and share. it's washington your way. >> senators john mccain and joe lieberman came to the floor to talk about a resolution they are cosponsoring relating to the ongoing unrest in libya. this is about 40 minutes. ask
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>> mr. president, i ask after my opening statement that mym colleague from connecticut be gv allowed to give his statement and then i ask unanimous consene the senator from connecticut ani colloquy, and iun understand tho the senator from connecticut may be using his ten minutes. >> without. objection >> thank you, mr. president.enar today my colleague, senator intg lieberman and i are introducing a legislation on the situation in libya. the mr. president, about sent to th, desk irresolution even though we are in morning business and its
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consideration be delayed until the appropriate time.on will ecd >> the aresolution will bef of received. >> i send a resolution to the desk. is the resolution of the sense of senate. the senate is pretty simple and straightforward. it calls for a recognition ofgoe the provisional revolutionary government in libya and it calls for placing as rapidly as possible a no-fly zone over lang libya.h it has other language associates it associated with it i will got into leader on the fact is whats
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it does is urges the president of the united states to take a long overdue action to prevent the massacres taking place in libya as we speak. momen at this moment, opponents of the colonel and the supporters are fighting for their very survival. the demand for the libyan peopl began much likthe those of theie neighbors and brought back in the middle east for the and thee protection of their universal rights, greater political freedom and representative gre government for justice and opportunities. butty the response from thosends still loyal to him stands in stark contrast to the inspiringe event of what some are calling the arab spurring. khaddafi and leased a merciless campaign of violence against the libyan people including civilias noncombatants using every tool t at his disposal from our garages to the airstrikes to the t
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employment of the foreign mercenaries. as president bill clinton correctly stated last week, and i quote, it's not a fair fight. it's not a fair fight. fai now the hour is growing over the past week the momentums from the opposition and to words sh khaowddafi showing once again wt a lot of us understand about the warfare. that is smaller well-trained ann well-equipped force can usually prevail over a larger less less trained and less equipped forcee one by one towns that have beenw liberated by the opposition ares now falling to cut off these forces. we are now beginning to learn the savage cost of the losses. especially on the civilian population. the women, children and the eldy elderly who could neither fighte or flee their rampage and of course the brave rebels who many
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suspected are abating the causen who face certain death or perhaps face oworse than death. what we have learned already bue what we have yet to learn and what we could still witness witt the force is allowed to finish this unfair fight of shock andef offend the conscience of thelasn entire world. the last week in a hearing on thedi committee on armed services director of the national s intelligence said absent outsidc assistance, quote, i think overe the long-term debt to the regimt will prevail, and yet it is the policy of the united states as stated by the president, and don liquid, qaddafi must step down from power and leave. that's the right policy. but it is increasingly at odds now with the facts on the stark ground. so we face a stark choice. g
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either the president and the united states take greater action to achieve the object of sleep out or we allow that even, this to play out as they are leaning reclaiming control ofry. his country.lieberma i the resolution senator lieberman and i introduce call on the president to take a number of steps immediately to reverse this impending disaster. first the president should recognize the transitional national council which is basedn in been gauzy but thess the representative communities across the country as the solelv legitimate government of doherth of libya. f justra as the government of fra. has done. t president sarkozy and the french have recognized the legitimatehe government of libya as the provisional government which is based. we some continue to say we don't
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thus we can't assist them. that's ridiculous. they've been organized forsist weeks. long-sta senior leaders insist of qadfi longstanding critics of qaddafi recently broke with his regime.d they even have a web site, and they are asking and pleading fos international support. t right qaddafi has forfeited the right to power of pervvijze actions. we v must recognize the oppositn id government. second, the president shouldt a take immediate steps to in implement a no-fly zone andnteri libya with international support. not only has the libyan opposition government called for this, the gulf cooperation this. council called the no-fly zone the head of the organization on the islamic conference hasconfes called for the no-fly zone and y on saturday the arab league a called for the no-fly zone. freh the french and british voiced
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governments voiced their suppor. and drafted a u.n. security council resolution to implement a no-fly zone. it is long past time for the president of the united statesls international leadership. the united states of america must a no-fly zone was never guinn to be the decisive action that too the balance against qaddafi ever when senator lieberman and all y called for nearly three weeks ago. but it remains the case that a no-fly zone would take one of to qaddafi's most lethal tools offd the table and thereby boost thes opposition. l it is the libyans themselves whs want to do the fighting againste qaddafi, but they want it to be a fair fight, and so should we.t finally, the president should develop and implement a to comprehensive strategy to.s.
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accomplish the stated u.s. objective of qaddafi leadingbeya power. be on the no-fly zone and beyond the actions like sanctions and humanitarian assistance that we are are already taking there are many actions we should couldigen consider for measuring rttelligence on with opposition to providing members support for command ande control to technical assistanceo and evenf forms of security ret assistance. i if they request q we could jam qaddafi's communications and television. and if we can provide it in a responsible way. our window of opportunity to support the libyan people wasg . closing quickly.and and this country has a choice to make. are we going to take action to support the liberty with theo fight for freedom are we going to stand by doing more than love nothing but less than enough toq
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achieve our stated goal ofll say qaddafi leaving a power? we say we support the universals rights of the arabs and muslims in countries across the middle east and north africa who are an inspiring us all in the quest and justice. real upt libya is the test of whethes we will provide our support not' just when it's easy, but whenuis it's difficult. and it requires more than just s speeches and expressions of qadi solidarity.ow if qaddafi is allowed to prevaic and crush his opponents it willr send a souignal throughout the t region that force is the way to respond to peaceful demand for going fofar more hollow. before i yield to my friend from connecticut i would like to
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point h out now we have former,e president clinton, we have theae arab league, we have the french, british, other nationsthe flu throughout the world and organizations in the region and without.ughout the better saying, crying out weng need to help these people and when president obama says the news is tightening around newmar qaddafi infected is tightening around the rebels, and the way t that he's doing it and what he n is doing to his own people or crimes against humanity. it's time that we stood up. it's time we read from "the newr york times" this morning by a fiddling while libya burns. it's time we read again on thews saturday of "the wall street
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journal" editorial entitled the: obama doctrine. libya is a world without u.s. leadership looks like. quote, this is the obamathis is conception of the u.s. role in the world to work through multilateral organizations and d bilateral relationships to makea sure the steps we are taking are amplified. there was the spokes deacons book and by the national security spokesman been rhodes as quoted in "the washington post." they bombed us with thankery airplanes, missiles coming froma every direction. we need international support at least a no-fly zone. why is the world not supportingm us? this from the rubble mohammed on march 10th wall street journal".reedom. they are fighting for freedom. they're fighting an aníbal situation on the battlefield. least we c te least we can do, the very
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least we can do is recognizefrem their struggle for freedom and give them some assistance. otherwise as the president's national security adviser statel on friday qaddafi will prevail. i will send a signal throughout the world that we will haveanane tannin and squares in this world i yield to my colleague from connecticut. thank th >> i tehank the chair and my friend and colleague from join arizona it's my honor to join rs with him and submitting this resolution. i hope in time we will gathert e the support of -- gather the support of members on both sidea of the political aisle and the we will make a statement and urgent statement the members ofe the united states senate areo ready across party lines to take a stand here because werning pnt
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understand we are at a turning point in history. it goes in the right direction. in fact today as we watch events unfold in libya we have reason o to believe that it is going incy pr mr. president, let me read the first two paragraphs of thean revolution to the coke a resolution senator mccain and i have introduced today becausea i think it sets with a setting in lebanon to the columbia in the context and explains why wel think america has a national interest in how the conflict inh libya in this. i first paragraph of the resolution we introduced just now. whereas peaceful demonstrationsl inspired by similar peaceful demonstrations in tunisia ande elsewhere in the middle east wih began and libya with calls for greater political reform, burton
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become a justice and the rule of law and quickly spread to cities around the country. second , whereas muammar qaddafi, his sons and and forcep loyal to them respond to the peaceful demonstrations by authorizing and initially to the violence against civilian lya noncombatants in libya including the use of air power, for the mercenaries, helicopters, mortar and artillery pryor the navalss, t'sets, snipers and soldiers. wa they set in context what is happening in libya. the fact is libya is occurring n in the context in these extraordinary peaceful space uprisings tunisia and egypt that had been described and i think e correctly as the arab spurring
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for too long we accepted i think our argument there were two choices for the united states and most of the rest of the there was a truce between secular b dictatorships that wee cordial to us on the one side,th and on the oversight radical islamist regimes that despise u and we areus threatening. and we made our peace with the secular dictatorships, but it was inherently uncomfortable and th our inconsistent with our basic the space values going back to the declaration of independence. now beginning in tunisia and egt spreading to egypt and then liba libya and other countries thes e arab people themselves rose up'a and said there's a third way any the third way is democracy. we want political freedom and economic opportunity.
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we want into the modern world. we don't want extremism of any kind. those revolutions, those uprising resulted in end of the rule of the two longstanding mubarak in egypt, and the happened peacefully for a lot ok reasons and part of it was those two leaders did not order their militaries to turn on their own people and in those two cases they wouldn't have done it in any case. so that is the arab spring, butr now and libya because qaddafi has taken exactly the opposite a position and turned his guns and military power on his own people as they peacefully demonstrated for change, for universal humant rights. there's a danger that what is happening in libya is
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essentially a wall put up which says this peaceful space revolution in the arab world ant this year. to put it another way, the arab spring may be going the way of f 1968 when the people of then czechoslovakia rosa and the and soviet tanks and armaments andir suppressed the revolution. happen. were senator mccain and i were ingypt tunisia and eject a couple week. ago. one of the messages we got beent particularly from the young people who have been at the heas of this remarkable the uprisings in the two countries was don'tc, stand by, please, america, don't stand by and let qaddafi asking avking for the same rights andfh opportunities and freedoms that we have been asking for.
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because if you do, it will end of the movement of freedom and opportunity across the arab world and in some sense the tensions and the egyptians said to us it may set back our own cause even though we have been successful thus far, and that'so why it has been so frustrating, really infuriating to watch asnn qaddafi has moved with anst increasing brutality and forcee, against his own people pushingts his opponents back, threatening to who totally uprising and i have been struck as i watched the world community, most of it, is spending aso much time discussd and debating and as the world
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discusses and debates what to do a and libya, libya descends back into qaddafi's darkness. t happen.ome the libyan people are not asking us to come and fight for them.t the libyan people don't want oud troops on the ground and that's not what this resolution wouldea authorize.nt the libyan people want us to the come to their aid and in fight enabling them to fight qaddafi's forces and to carry on as freedm freedom fighters. they wan established and the legal authority sovereignty for their country.they lik they like militarye assistance.d they like what things, the kind of intelligence and electronic assistance ewe can give, and ts like us in some way a no-fly
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zone or using our capacity to fs firesi missiles from offshore tm protect them from what has tide turned the tide in their struggle for freedom against qaddafi and libya which is the r use of the libyan air power against the libyan people.t if we don't do this, i fear that this era of spurring will turnr to winter, a winter of darkness and suppression to quickly and d the world will regret. le hav people have said to senator american national interest of getting involved in libya and a let me give you a few reasons why i think we do have annter interest.ional first we have a clear national h interest, a humanitarian interest of not standing idly bg and watching the tens of dozensl of people slaughtered by theirae own government. if as i said, if we stand by and de nothing as this happens, it will be devastating to america'she
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image in the arab world and todp our moral leadership throughoutl the world. arguewhy some people argue why would we want to get involved in muslimng or arab country thinking of iraq and afghanistan before this is really more like 1990 a and '91 in the first gulf war when in the arab world itself was calling out to us please,ld help us get saddam hussein out s of, get the arab world as senator mccain said is pleading within i us help stop qaddafi fromp q slaughtering his own people, thn blood of our brothers andbl sisters in libya.second second we have a clear national from becoming a failed state at al q that al qaeda and other islamist groups will exploit and that is anthat is precisely what will happen if bs this becomes a bloody and w protracted civil war and then descends into chaos.
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third, if qaddafi is able to defeat this uprising as senator mccain said in the world to stop the s ppace process is througrah brutal violence and ie don't mean this literally, but the members of the old phrase from the earlier times in history if you got to the king make sure you eliminate and don't leave wounded if cut off the survives this he's going tos cause no end of trouble for thed united states and anyone else in the world hethat stood with her the s freedom fighters. so to let us not think we can iy stand idly by and that we will t not pay ourselves the consequences of qaddafi surviving and then finally thern is a relationship between what is happening in libya today ands
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the instability it has caused throughout that region of the pe world and the skyrocketing price of gasoline at the pump that does concern the american people fact, haery day. t in fact with all that has beendi discussed a think the best thin we can do to stabilize the price of gasoline and america is to stabilize libya and enable the libyan opposition to qaddafi too fight the fair fight they want to fight so that's the intentios of this revolution. it is the french would say it is a cry from our heart because wec have let so much time go by that it may be impossible to enable y the freedom fighters in libya te wage a fair fight. causes i hope the cause is not lostcau because it is our cause, and the least we can do to help them
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fight for the cause against the man who has suppressed because l in all his rule.thankhe i think the chair and yield thee floor. connecticut if we couldn't read nu a few of the facts as they are now, despite the fact that the president made a statement i am am still bewildered by i believy president said the noose is qaddafi i think the facts on tht ground indicate with superior firepower ability to strike frot the air even if the strikes arei
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notcu particularly effective although apparently they are becoming more effective, and well-trained and well-equipped small forces, the colonel t khadafy has been willing to reverse the tide on thed rather battlefield rather dramaticallyn all the news reportsew are that the military situation on the sd ground is shifted dramatically the general director of nationad intelligence said on thursday that qaddafi is likely to win ig a long term and then on the other side of the coin, the president of the united states has said that qaddafi must go ie guess the question to mylleaguet colleague first is as "the walle
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street journal" says it qaddafi survives after q mr. obama has , told him to go, the blow to thee u.s. prestige in our world ordeu would be enormous. dictators will learn the way tog keep america from acting is to o keep its diplomats and citizense around while mowing down your yu opponents ras the world beats continuance e by the time the battle was a decision will be l too late. it's a dangerous message to send any time but especially with a middle east and the revolution. i would ask my colleague american prestige is now on then line.the the battle to a situation is tht tide is against the is excuse me thenm pro-democracy me forces and what in the messagety be sent to any dictator in the region of the world rather than
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accept a situation such as is happening in egypt and tunisia sending the tanks. send in the military. the slaughter people withoutithout consequence. is that the lesson we would be sending here i'd ask my friend i fear that is exactly c the exe message we would be sending of the united states and our alliek stand back and let qaddafi force through the forces of his arms suppress political dissent from his p own people.eople. i mean, one of the inspiring the tunisian and egypt is that incidentally, they were not -- they were not anti-american.e they were pro tunisian, pro egypt, they were the people of tunisia and egypt pleading for a better life so that one of the
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most powerful with samples of ea peaceful protests which is really part of american history was established. now you've got -- and it changei those to governments. now you've got another modelou'e being said which is when people rise up and peacefully protest and don't respond, you don't negotiate, you don't listen to them, you don't react, you turnu your firepower on and kill themd and keep doing that until the dissent ends. one, in the world that isld t increasingly dangerous, that is a terrible message to send. sen. number two, in the world in in which -- and let's just go backk a little bit to what i said earlier about the choices they fought and they were false choices in the arab world, but in the uprising in to tunisiahes
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and egypt there has been expressed the strongest possible repudiation of al qaeda on the one hand and iran on the other, both a home that is the government of iran and both of whom have followed islamist extremist ideology and usedlenc violence to achieve their ends. so you have the tunisian egyptf model of the process and ademocr democracy, economic opportunity and now theacan other model, qai violence. at and what will it be get? it will be get more violence and will cost us dearly. i want to say to my friend from arizona. as we say in our resolution president obama has made itieves clear he believes qaddafi must go. statemef and if after that statement of r american policy by our
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n,mmander-in-chief qaddafi see doesn't go and it is seen not just in the arab world but throughout the wider world that the united states was not able to mobilize action in the worldd community to make sure qaddafi went but in fact, he stayed it inevitably has been in effect oe the credibility of americanri leadership in the world and none of us want that to happen happe including president obama.. so it's not too late. significant as they are, and sanctions on qaddafi and people close to him, the threat or them plan t to refer and others closo to the international court of criminal justice all important, but unfortunately, what is more important now is what ishappen happening on the ground in libya and on the ground in libya the power of qaddafi's forces areeen
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winning over the forces of freedom in a fight that isn't id fair. >> i would say to my friend from connecticut i think that's a ver very strong analysis and h statement. i ever met -- at mant to the fact a terrible tragedy is is transpiring in japan is one that has riveted the attention of the nation in the world and ourts go hearts go out o tuto the japanee people and government in thiste terrible time of trial. there is no way we can diminish the tragedy that they areerie but it is a natural disaster that was the catalyst to the meanwhile in libya we have a human katulis named muammar
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and wil qaddafi. and i will admit i will confess to having such a dull life i watch a lot of cable television, and i see expert after expert reasons why the united statesso should do nothing, so i come into reading an article in co today's "new yorkll times" by ae murray slaughter who was a for our policy at the stateicy department i understand in thise it really does respond to what you will hear continuously. entt the article is entitled fiddlinl while what beah burns. pois at the beginning she points out the organization of the islamic conference, the gulf cooperation council and the arab league havl called for the opponent imposing
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e no-fly zone and she runs runsu through the objectionsgh raisede various individuals and expertss one that is not in our interest and another that would be be counterproductive and anotherrot won't work. and another if it doeson work we won't know what we will get. that's why the rebels instead is to address this most of the main arguments. this another that should be added toe this list is the likelihood, the likelihood that things are happening in libya today as we a speak that will remind us that several times in the last century, and even in this, we said never again. we said never again after rwanda and never again after the
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holocaust and several other occasions when nations stood byt while slaughter was taking hol place. anyone is their anyone who believes not that qaddafi hasn't practiced id the past and is practicing now t and will in the future on the spiegel cruelty inflicted upon oeople who dare to stand up to t him? so i would say to my friend hern we are, we know what ishat's happening in tripoli, we know what's happening with air attacks taking place on defense watch these brave young people out there with their mothers tad orghting against tanks and air f power. and as former president clinton said so eloquently a fair fight. it's not a fair fight. there so i guess that there will be cs
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other consultations with our allies that i'm glad to see the secretary of state is meeting t with the leadership of the mern provisional government. i hope she will as a result of that meeting and ask for united statesti recognition of that organization as the legitimate government of the country of libya and i hope all these thingspp will happen. but meanwhile, events unfold in on the ground every second and every minute we wait to act for the libyans by. this is a printable situation. of the events in tokyo maybe wen could argue and in japan were not preventable. it's an act of god. what's happening in libya is an act of a brutal, tyrant saddest
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who is willing to butcher his own people. and we are doing everything we can and we will do everything we can to help the people of japan. we ought to be doing what we can t help the people of libya on the face that in some cases toe some individuals may be worse than death.ll -- i so i hope my colleagues, i hope the majority leader will allow a vote on this senate resolution as soon as possible.ho i ever said there will be those who made like to see slightly to different language and we would be glad to change the language e somewhat. m but we won't change the messaget the united states of america, as the senate, the united states op america is standing on the sidef of people who are standing up for freedom and democracy, a
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universal day that we treasure. and we will not step in our obligations, and those who say that the most powerful nation id the world is in capable of helping these people by install installing the new fly zone i nt think are not substantiated by the facts. general raymond odierno just the other day said we could install a no-fly zone in just a fewly z days. just a we could have a naval power offshore that could enforce itn the sea as well as from the air. and also, it is very clear to ms that if the libyan pilots are told if you fly you're going to. die, a lot of them won't fly. but i don't want to focus so
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much attention on the no-flyhati zone as i do on what is happening to the people of libya as we speak and the replicatione the could take place throughout ho on this sooner rather of a oner leader and i would ask my friend from connecticut 20 believe we u are nearly out of time in a few. minutes. >> i thank my friend from i jusw arizona. mr. president, i just want to conclude by saying in our history we've been quite itay fortunate and it may be as a friend of mine said hard for people to imagine themselves ind a position where they would neee help, the need help to rescue them of danger from def and senator mccain the episodes dark times in recent history,
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where people need that help from outside, the holocaust and the balkans, rwanda, and we acted. this is of the same type, but ie struck me when you think about japan there is this parallelatul with natural disasters in this , country. earthquakes, hurricanes and hurricane katrina is an examplet when the people of the gulf coast region pleaded with us tht center of a friend, the national government, t federal governmen. and we gave it to them. the who could ever forget with the coast guard did in rescuing the. lives in the gulf coast after katrina, and in some ways ito ps think we have to perhaps see it though it is a man-made disaste, it's a natural disaster withaskr people asking for basic rescueai
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and in this case they are asking us to fight their fight, they the weapons so they can fight their fight. that is the intention of this hegnize t resolution, bottom line. recognize the opposition to as enddafi as the government,vereim legitimate sovereign government of libya, and then work with our allies of the world community including i hope not only our nato allies with our allies in the year of legal and the gulf council to in force to protect the people from qaddafi's yourc. force. and i joined senator mccain saying senator reid, senatord mcconnell can bring theon resolution up quickly becauseert every moment that passes withoua was helping the libyan a opposition to make it a fair fight is a moment in which darkness descends over libya. and again i repeat what senators
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mccain said. we arein willing to discussike changes in the resolution h because we would like this to be a resolution that has the broadest possible bipartisan support in the senate. mr. president, if i can i wouldt like to take a minute to say this word that came to my mind r over the weekend about theerri terrible natural disaster in he japan. asknanimous >> [inaudible] to ask unanimous consent thatril "the wall street journal" editorial entitled the obama doctrine and "the new york times" article this morning burns, and the interview with it the libyan resistance leader entitled to give us a chance on the daily beast dhaka, be included in the record. >> without. >> senator mary landrieu and senator lamar alexander on the japanese earthquake and the nuclear plant safety. this is about 20 minutes. wouldk
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>> what i really would like to talk about briefly and i know dn senator durbin is coming to ao floor is just to give my heartfelt condolences to the people of japan. mr. president, we have watched a all weekend, my husband and my family and on in horror watchine what is seen unfold the cutan catastrophe of japan on friday e afternoon following the t earthquake 9.0 now on theed by richter scale followed by a terrible tsunami, a wave of water in some places 30 feet high that devastatedsomef the communities. reminiscent of what happened in the gulf coast about five and half years ago with a 30-footoow waveave coming onshore right ino deluxe the mississippi and then a catastrophe of man-made oportions, proportions in our case when the
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levee system broke and 1800 people lost their lives. but the situation in japan, and we now know from watching thewew worst crisis according to theire orime minister since the second world war. it's going to take our best eff efforts, governments around the world, individuals, corporatione and businesses to be generous. i hope and i know the people of louisiana and our cities and we communities will be generous because we were benefited by thd boreman generosity of the peopln of japan and many volunteers that came from all over theovert country andhe the world. i hope as the week of just search and rescue comes to ae close there will be time for debris cleanup and rebuilding ho and mental health counseling and all of the things that have to go into helping an area of the e country survive and grow
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and i know the people of japan are as prepared as any country f could be for a situation like dy this. olmed but the defense of that day have an most organized governments in the world and i am justands o heartbroken to hear the thousands of people that are yet not accounted for, and our them. hearts go out to them. oy i hope they will be generous for the moral standpoint, but mr. president, japan is one of world.t i irom the state i represent,are e louisiana, we are the second paa largest trading partner as a state. so for the people of louisianasa and all of our states have a vested interest in japan gettins sck on its feet, building better and stronger. we are on the process of orlea rebuilding it new orleans eastgo and other neighborhoods the were hard hit along the gulf coast
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and waive land are still struggling to come back. an important economic center for our co this cultural and industrial community around the cultural communities are very important not just to japan, but the bold. so i hope with this 9.0 earthquake that hit i hopese people this is a thousand times worse than eight-point on theust richter scale. wor. it's not just slightly worse, it's a thousand times worse. hug it's a huge earthquake and shift in the earth's plates and then the subsequent tsunami. so on behalf of the people of a louisiana we want to say speciar condolences and best wishes fora the people of japan as they dhoe recover and those that have i lost, to healnj the injured andi begildn to rebuild their cities
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and communities even stron sgere than they were before. and i hope that we will all bewe as generous as we can. one final point, mr. president, this is a wake-up call to our ca country and as the chairman of the homeland security committee i would like to get this on record. this is a wake-up call because we have not funded adequately our disaster response fund. $1.6 billion below where we not should be.ise this isn't a wise policy given what happened over the weekend. catastrophes can strike without warning at t any time. lik if we leave the amount of moneym that money would be used up in three days and we haven'ti' cale replenished that fund to recall
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the president to send a supplementalrg emergency bill. we can't pay for current disasters out of future preparedness money and that's what the continuing resolution in the house h basically does. o i strongly object to takingt money we have to set aside in tt the event catastrophes happenedy to pay for the past disasters. n that is another reason i voted against the house currents v resolution and now with this visual of this horrific tragedy unfolding in japan with the the tsunami, the destruction of thet cities, the nuclear power plants under extraordinary pressure. ot it does no good to take money out of paying for current past disasters, paying for the past damage.o the president asking him to send ane emergency bill. it would be wise for us to pay for the past divergencies of
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budget and then to use our homeland security bill to budgea as effectively and appropriately as we can for the disasters that may occur. i am proud to say that the democratic democratic leadership l has mon doubled the amount of money thaj we are setting aside just in h case these things happen. it used to be only $800 million. a year and now we are budgeting close to 1.8 or 1.9 thinking in8 the yvette something happens we want to make sure. this is in 48 states disasters have been declared in the lastrn two years. y. not just along the gulf coast. . we've had flooding in the northeast, flooding in the could we could potentially have -- wes had flooding this weekend. i'm not sure how widespread it was. but in new jersey there were the scenes through the weekend abous refers overflowing as spring , mr. approaches. so mr. president, let us as we a mourn for japan and ourthroughhs
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solidarity through this crisis,o let's use it as a reminder to get our business street, to get our budget s of and with our disaster reliefs funds. let's pay for past disasters that we go to the communities and pledge to help them rebuild and set aside the appropriate money in the regular budget topy take care of things that might happen this year as we advance.e mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a m quorum. >> mr. president, is the senator from arizona and the senator from connecticut have done in impress on behalf of the peopley tennessee my sympathy to thehe people of japan and the eeriencd devastation these


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